Eastern Cape premier orders full investigation after death of UDM chief whip's aunt

Eastern Cape premier Oscar Mabuyane has directed the office of the health ombudsman to conduct a full investigation following serious allegations made by UDM deputy president Nqabayomzi Kwankwa.
Eastern Cape premier Oscar Mabuyane has directed the office of the health ombudsman to conduct a full investigation following serious allegations made by UDM deputy president Nqabayomzi Kwankwa.
Image: Fredlin Adriaan

Eastern Cape premier Oscar Mabuyane has directed the office of the health ombudsman to conduct a full investigation following serious allegations made by UDM deputy-president Nqabayomzi Kwankwa.

Kwankwa has accused the health department and workers of negligence following his aunt’s recent death.

In a heart-wrenching letter written to Mabuyane on May 6 detailing what his aunt had endured trying to access healthcare, Kwankwa said he had informed health MEC Sindiswa Gomba about the situation after his aunt died on Tuesday.

In a statement on Friday, Mabuyane’s spokesperson Mvusiwekhaya Sicwetcha confirmed the premier had received Kwankwa’s letter.

“Premier Mabuyane sends his heartfelt condolences to Mr Kwankwa and his entire family for the loss of their aunt.

“This morning premier Mabuyane made a telephone call to Mr Kwankwa responding to the letter.

“After considering this complaint, premier Mabuyane has decided to refer the complaint to the office of the health ombudsman for a full investigation,” Sicwetsha said.

Sicwetsha said this was done in the best interest of the people of the province receiving health service from provincial government hospitals and clinics.

In his letter, Kwankwa painted a horrific picture of how his sickly aunt, carried by her son, was sent from Grey Provincial Hospital in King William’s Town to Bhisho Provincial Hospital and later SS Gida Hospital in Keiskammahoek.

“On 3 May in the early morning, my aunt severely struggled to breathe and a gracious neighbour took her to Dimbaza clinic, from where she was referred and admitted to SS Gida Hospital in Keiskammahoek where she was placed in isolation. She was left to die on her own on 5 May.

“As a family we are sad, but we are angry too, as we were sent from pillar to post by what seems an incompetent Eastern Cape health care system, which resulted in my aunt paying with her life.

“The poor level of treatment at Grey Provincial Hospital and Bhisho Provincial Hospital’s refusal to treat my aunt leaves much to be desired. They dropped the ball and it had fatal consequences,” he wrote.

Kwankwa said he was not convinced that the necessary interventions were made, and precautionary measures taken.

He said there were concerns his aunt had contracted Covid-19 and that there was ample opportunity for her to pass it to those about her, including her son who works at a King William’s Town mall.

Kwankwa, also the UDM’s chief whip in parliament, said his family had planned to bury his aunt on Thursday but her body would not be released to the family pending the results of a Covid-19 test she had taken on May 3.

Kwankwa urged Mabuyane to conduct an investigation and make the report public.

 


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